Hybrid IT Jobs on the Rise

So you know technology. Great. Now go get yourself and MBA, because you need to know a little something about business, too, if you're going to work in IT these days. (That's where the "hybrid" comes from -- IT and business. Nothing to do with cars.)

Posted by Lee Pender on 01/12/2011 at 1:23 PM0 comments


Little Patch Tuesday

How slow is the news this week? Other than the departure of Bobby Mugs from Microsoft, the biggest news is...Patch Tuesday. Ugh.

Oh, well. Let's talk about Patch Tuesday, then. Microsoft issued...one critical fix and a few other smaller things. Wow, that's even boring by Patch Tuesday standards. Since we're all out of witty comments and the old carpal tunnel is starting to flare up a bit, we'll just leave things there. Happy patching.

Posted by Lee Pender on 01/12/2011 at 1:23 PM0 comments


Bad News: IT Spending on the Way Up

Gartner says that IT spending will go up 5.1 percent year-over-year in 2011. But there is poop in this punch bowl -- according to Gartner, the increase is mainly down to the dollar's exchange rate and might not actually be good news at all.

Posted by Lee Pender on 01/10/2011 at 1:23 PM0 comments


Microsoft Execudus Continues as Muglia Leaves

Well, how's this for timing? Your editor is working on a story about Microsoft's recent executive departures (now known here as the Execudus), and this week one of the biggest names in Redmond is headed out the door.

This time, it's a big one. Bob Muglia -- whom we've always wanted to call Bobby Mugs but never have until now -- is headed out the door. And apparently it's at the request of one Mr. Steve Ballmer. For those who have lost track, Bobby Mugs is -- was, we suppose -- president of Microsoft's pretty darn successful Server & Tools Business.

Evidently, he and Ballmer had a falling out over the division's strategy -- and we all know who won that battle. Ballmer is Microsoft now, and Microsoft is Ballmer. He has put his stamp in Bill Gates' company and has overseen the departures of a bunch of major executives, including Ray Ozzie, Stephen Elop and now Mugs.

There's some talk that Muglia wasn't on board with Microsoft's cloud focus, but Mary Jo Foley, whom we tend to believe in these matters, has her doubts about that. And we at RCPU do, too. What we see is Ballmer further consolidating his power in Redmond and getting his people in place while letting some of Gates' more notable people (Muglia is a 23-year Microsoft veteran) hit the road.

That makes us nervous, and it should make partners and customers nervous too. Sure, Microsoft needs new blood and innovation as much as any company, but Server & Tools was a notable strength in Redmond. And if there really was a conflict between Ballmer and Mugs about the cloud, it probably doesn't help that the guy who created much of Microsoft's cloud strategy, Ray Ozzie, is also a short-timer with the company.

What's most disturbing about this situation is that Ballmer doesn't seem to be replacing these executives all that effectively. Combine that with a stagnant stock price, a pathetic mobile strategy, an almost complete lack of response to the tablet craze and some really questionable product releases (Vista, Kin, Zune...), and it's hard not to question exactly what Ballmer thinks he's doing with Microsoft.

In fact, it's hard to understand just what Ballmer wants Microsoft to be. From what we can tell, he primarily wants it to be his operation, maybe even at the expense of the greater good of the company. We hope that's not the case, but we have a feeling we're not the only ones who feel that way. It's just conjecture, but we suspect that Bob Muglia might agree.

What's your take on Microsoft's executive departures and Steve Ballmer's leadership? Send it to lpender@rcpmag.com.

Posted by Lee Pender on 01/10/2011 at 1:23 PM14 comments


Microsoft Wields AX 6

Microsoft has long undersold Dynamics in our considered opinion, so we're pleased to see Redmond talking up the ease of deployability of the new AX ERP suite.

Posted by Lee Pender on 01/10/2011 at 1:23 PM0 comments


A Hello to ARM for Microsoft

Yes, it's true. The next version of Windows will run on low-power ARM chips, some of which will be made by Intel -- and many of which won't. Mary Jo Foley, as always, has more details.

Posted by Lee Pender on 01/06/2011 at 1:23 PM0 comments


Google Reopens Microsoft's Department of Interior Win

So, this is how it's going to be in the cloud. Forget technology, innovation, service or anything else. It's going to be a legal battle.

At least that's what's shaping up right now in Microsoft's deal to provide the U.S. Department of the Interior with IT and cloud services. Actually, Google filed suit a while back, claiming that it didn't have a fair shot at the DOI contract. And, as it turns out, a court agreed...with Google.

There's a freeze on in the cloud now, at least as far as the Department of the Interior and Microsoft are concerned. However, as we've said here before, it sure seems as though Google got its shot with this deal and just didn't cut the mustard.

But that's the industry today, and Microsoft is as bad as anybody else about this: If you can't beat 'em, sue 'em. So, as the snow melts in the Northeast, a freeze begins in Washington. We'll see what the thaw brings.

What's your take on Google winning in court? Send it to lpender@rcpmag.com.

Posted by Lee Pender on 01/06/2011 at 1:23 PM2 comments


New Year, New Microsoft Flaws

Happy New Year to all from sunny Southern California, where your editor watched his TCU Horned Frogs win the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day. There's no segue following that -- we just wanted to mention it. This might not be the last time, either. 

Anyway, with 2011 comes a new year as well as a new version of old news: Microsoft has security flaws. One of them is a bug in image rendering that affects older versions of Windows. The other is one of those sneaky things that Google revealed before Microsoft could patch it.

Yeah, those are a little dodgy, and we're not sure what good Google hopes to spread by ratting out Microsoft other than gaining some sort of competitive advantage of perception for itself. Microsoft says that Google is acting irresponsibly doing this sort of thing and is opening Internet Explorer (which is the target in this case) to attacks that wouldn't happen if people didn't know the flaw existed.

We can't help at this point but side with Microsoft on this issue, although obviously the best-case scenario would be for Microsoft to avoid these flaws in the first place. The real point here, though, is that TCU won the Rose Bowl. Let's not lose sight of that.

Is Google acting irresponsibly by disclosing un-patched Microsoft flaws? Send your thoughts to lpender@rcpmag.com.

Posted by Lee Pender on 01/05/2011 at 1:23 PM6 comments


Oracle Releases Cloud Office Suite

Apparently Larry Ellison docked his sailboat for long enough to create an open-source, cloud-based (or on-premises...) office suite. Actually, it's mainly a result of the Sun acquisition (which Larry probably completed while manning the helm, or whatever sailors do), but nevertheless Oracle does have a competitor to Microsoft and Google now.

Posted by Lee Pender on 12/16/2010 at 1:23 PM3 comments


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